Punishments being introduced for illegal mining and cryptocurrency trading

POLITICS 16:55 / 20.01.2024 2527

On January 19, Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a law to strengthen liability for offenses using digital technologies. The text of the document is available in the Lex.uz database.

The law passed the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis in September 2023, and received approval from the Senate in November. They introduce administrative liability for violations of mining rules and illegal circulation of crypto assets.

The Administrative Responsibility Code is supplemented by Articles 155.4 and 155.5. For illegal purchase and sale and exchange of crypto assets, a fine of 20-30 BCAs (6.8-10.2 million soums) or up to 15 days of arrest will be applied.

The tokens themselves, as well as the equipment used, are subject to confiscation. The same sanctions will apply to cryptoasset service providers operating without a license.

For operations with anonymous cryptocurrencies, service providers will be fined 30-40 BCAs (10.2-13.6 million soums), the same penalty is provided for their mining. UzSAMA banned trading in anonymous tokens in Uzbekistan in 2022.

Mining cryptocurrencies in violation of the established procedure will entail a fine of 20 to 30 BCAs (6.8-10.2 million soums) or up to 5 days of arrest. The instrument of the offense is subject to confiscation (Article 155.5).

In case of a significant amount of damage from the violation, the fine for a “gray” miner will be from 30 to 50 BCAs (10.2-17 million soums), and the arrest period will be up to 10 days. If the damage is large, the sanctions increase to 50-100 BCAs (17-34 million soums) or 15 days of arrest.

A repeated violation related to the mining of cryptocurrencies within a year will entail criminal liability in accordance with the new Article 278.9 of the Criminal Code. In addition to a fine of up to 100 BCAs (34 million soums), it provides for 2-3 years of correctional labor, restriction or imprisonment for up to 1 year.

Hidden mining will also be considered a criminal violation. In this case, there will be a fine of 100-300 BCAs (34-102 million soums), or up to 2 years of restriction or imprisonment.

For dangerous repeat offenders, a group of persons acting by prior conspiracy, or especially large-scale violations, the fine will be from 300 to 400 BCAs (102-136 million soums). The alternative would be restriction or imprisonment for up to 3 years.

If the violations were committed using an official position, as part of an organized group or in its interests, the term of imprisonment will be from 3 to 5 years.

Similar penalties are provided for repeated violations in the field of purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies and the provision of services related to their circulation (Article 278.8 of the Criminal Code). A person who voluntarily reported a violation and contributed to its disclosure will be released from liability.

The amendments will come into force 3 months after the official publication of the law.

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